The houses in this subdivision all looked the same when his parents brought him here as a child; now he’s renovated this one into a hip, modern structure with 200 square meters of usable space on a property of 400 square meters.
/// Thailand ///
Story: Foryeah! /// Photography: Nantiya Busabong /// Owner: Roj Kanjanabanyakhom /// Design: Atom Design Co., Ltd.
“After studying abroad I lived in a condo for years, but modern urban life is too full of needless accessories, so I finally came back to this house for its serenity and privacy. I like peace and quiet, listening to music, watching movies, that’s enough,” said Roj Kanjanabanyakhom.
An architect himself, he was the designer and construction supervisor. Since the house was in an old subdivision there were a lot of problems: leaks and seepage, rusty pipes, etc, even asbestos tile, now recognized as carcinogenic. The structure had to be almost completely torn down to its basic frame: pillars, beams, and a couple of walls.
To suit Roj’s lifestyle, striking improvements were made in both the new building in front and the old house: gray cobblestone contrasting with bright orange brick walls, angle-patterned bricks with ventilation spaces. Formerly an open tai thun area, half the ground floor, became his own bicycle maintenance shop, with the other half a carport. On the second floor is a hobby workshop, and above that a roof deck where support pillars are capped with metal plates in anticipation of future additions.
The 2.4-meter outside wall of the old house was demolished and replaced with tall glass windows all around for a spacious feeling. Bedrooms on the second floor were removed to create a “doublespace” area, and a projector set up behind one wall for full-size movie viewing. For the new addition in back, on the first floor are kitchen, dining room, and living room. Above, the second floor is the private area, with main bedroom, guest bedroom, and dressing room.
“There were some difficult structural and material design limitations in the old house. Parts of the old roof weren’t able to support much weight, so besides replacing the asbestos with double Roman tile we used metal purlin trusses instead of wood. To avoid joint problems where the new roof meets the old gabled one, we used steel-reinforced flat slab concrete, which will be able to hold the weight of future additions.
“Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper just to tear everything out. I renovated because I wanted to preserve the memories here,” said Roj with a smile. And so here’s a home filled with remembrance, ready to bring present and future memories into the mix.
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